NCFL, Urban Libraries Council issue brief on 2-gen programming in libraries

CaptureLibraries have emerged as powerful 21st-century education leaders to help fulfill educational and learning needs—for learners of all ages. And with more than 16,000 spanning the U.S., there is no better resource for families learning together than the public library. Their status as safe, trusted, inclusive community hubs helps parents feel welcome. As important, libraries are the only education institution that connects with individual learning needs from birth through the senior years.

A 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center reveals that 71 percent of adults believe libraries are doing a good to very good job of serving the learning and educational needs of their families. Even more of these adults believe their library systems are serving their community’s learning needs.

“No longer are libraries a one-stop destination. The free and affordable library programs available to parents and children are integral to supporting family literacy efforts in our communities,” said Sharon Darling, NCFL president and founder. “Two-generation programming ranging from intensive family learning initiatives to early literacy workshops to summer-learning maker sessions is taking root in libraries across the country.”

To call attention to the vital role libraries play in literacy and learning, NCFL’s expanding partnership with the Urban Libraries Council has yielded a Leadership Brief that explores the importance of two-generation programming and highlights the progressive work of public libraries in creating opportunities for families to learn together. This brief, made possible with the support of Better World Books, explores a wide range of programming for families and includes five action steps for libraries and partners to broaden and deepen family learning success:

  1. Connect key community partners
  2. Increase community outreach
  3. Enhance and align existing library and community literacy programs
  4. Keep programming flexible to meet family needs
  5. Explain the importance of family learning and early literacy

Learn more about these five steps and discover how libraries from around the nation have implemented successful family learning programming in their communities. And stay tuned for news on upcoming NCFL-ULC collaborations, including the second library-community webcast at the Families Learning Summit, October 17-19, 2016 in Detroit.

Download the Leadership Brief: Libraries Supporting Family Learning